Thursday, January 7, 2010

English Toffee

This luscious English Toffee comes from Not So Humble Pie. I'd never made toffee before, and discovered candy-making can be fraught with problems and unpleasant surprises. On the flip side, even with the issues I had the toffee tasted wonderful! Many thanks to Ms. Humble!

This was my first time toasting nuts. They were so yummy :)

I was thankful, yet again, for my Pampered Chef chopper.

This is the only picture I got of the cooking process. Cooking sugar and making candy is a do-it-right-now deal. Both of your hands are busy, and if you're alone, there aren't going to be any pictures.

I poured the hot toffee-t0-be right onto my granite counter (that I'd greased per Ms. Humble's directions). I couldn't believe how fast it cooled and hardened, and my last cuts were more like break-through chops.

One of the problems I had was the mixture wasn't smooth when I poured it out; there was a lot of butter that hadn't mixed in all the way. Ms. Humble answered my question and suggested that this problem can happen when the sugar is cooked too hot, too fast. So next time I'll be more patient and use a lower temperature (and there will be a next time).

I used my favorite chocolate chips as the chocolate coating, and this may have led to my other big problem: after several days the chocolate got "bloomy", where the cocoa butter separates from the chocolate and seeps to the surface, giving the chocolate a weird, moldy look. Ms. Humble's directions say to temper the chocolate, which I don't know how to do, and the quick research I did after this adventure said tempering the chocolate can prevent the bloom. I've used melted chocolate chips to dip cookies in before without the bloom problem, so maybe the chocolate wasn't the issue. LOL...I need more candy-making education.

Coating the toffee in the chocolate. Yum!

Coating the chocolate in the chopped almonds. Double yum!

Finished toffee waiting for their stay in the fridge.

My 2 year-old helper couldn't wait to get in on the action. This kid is a serious prodigy...you should see her wield a whisk. A little scary, actually :)

Yum, yum, yum! Thanks, again, Ms. Humble! Your toffee was fun to make and delicious to eat!

8 comments:

  1. Well it looks beautiful! You got far better photos than I did.

    Ooooh and we have the same countertops!

    So, the texture...

    The texture change was probably due to crystallization. I should have a PhD in toffee after all the reading up I've done on it to answer questions. I posted a bunch of additional tips in the comment section of my English Toffee recipe to help address crystallization in candy making.

    Another crystallization culprit might of been the metal whisk you used. The metal conducts heat very well, more so than a wooden spoon or heat safe silicone spatula. It can get very hot and the little bits of syrup that stick to it can crystalize quickly, setting off a chain reaction in the toffee if reintroduced at the wrong time.

    Who would of figured toffee would end up being more complicated than my computational genetics courses!?

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  2. LOL...I think these types of candies must be one of the trickiest things in the cooking world. I'm definitely hooked, though. I will break through and discover the secrets! :) Thanks for everything...I really do love your blog :)

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  3. I make Paula Deens toffee recipe and it is so much easier and out of this world delicious. You may want to try it next time :)

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  4. Wow. I've never made toffee. Now I want to!

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  5. I just came across your blog and wow, everything looks so freaking good! Love love love toffee

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  6. Looks very nice!! Love it...

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  7. Wow....that makes me want to make toffee and NOT want to make toffee all at the same time! ;) I'd like to EAT that toffee, though...definitely!

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